Currently, over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). And unfortunately, there aren’t enough resources out there for them to get into recovery.
Inpatient rehabilitation is always an option. But not everyone can afford to go; they can’t forego responsibilities and don’t have the money to pay for residential rehab.
Outpatient rehab can literally be a lifesaver for some of those with SUD. It’s not as taxing for finances and time, and they can still find sobriety effectively.
Does this make you want to open an outpatient rehab facility? Then read on for seven things you need to know about.
1. You Need a License
You can’t just rent or purchase a property and then call it an outpatient rehab center. Depending on where you are, you may need both state and federal licenses to operate legally.
For example, you might need to get certifications from the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Regardless, you’ll need to submit plans for your program, policies, and procedures.
If you’re running a facility that offers solely outpatient services, then you won’t need to check that you’re following zoning laws. Otherwise, if you have beds in your center, you might need to be zoned commercial in addition to obtaining a license.
2. Get Your Finances
It’s one thing to open an outpatient rehab center; it’s another to keep it running. Thankfully, you won’t need as much capital as you would with inpatient rehab, as you’ll have business hours where doors are closed for half the day and maybe even the weekends.
However, it’s still no easy feat to pull together capital for this endeavor. If you don’t have enough personal funds, then you’ll need to apply for business loans. You can also look for interested investors; have a thorough business plan to present them to make your case more appealing and convincing.
Make sure to secure enough funding to ensure that your rehab center runs for at least a year. That way, you’ll have enough time to recoup your losses and start making a profit.
3. Determine the Services You’ll Have
Just because you’re running an outpatient rehab center doesn’t mean you can’t have as many services as inpatient rehab. In fact, both usually have the same services; the main difference is that patients live at one and don’t at the other.
The main thing people seek at rehab is therapy, so it’s best if you have both individual and group therapy available. You can also look into detox, medication management, and sober living as well.
When you have a clear picture of what services you’ll provide, it’ll be easier to hire the right people for the job.
4. Look for the Right Location
You might be tempted to rent or buy the first available space that seems acceptable for your purposes. But location is more important than you might think.
First of all, renting in one neighborhood could cost twice as much as renting a few blocks away. With the money you save, you can pour it into staff salaries, amenities, and more.
Also, think about how accessible your facility is. Your patients won’t be living on the premises, so they need to come and go often. Finding a property that’s near freeways, big roads, and public transport hubs is a huge plus.
5. Work With Insurance Providers
Most likely, your patients will want to use their insurance plans for rehab. This is why you need to have a good network of insurance providers, as this will ensure that you can accept these different plans. It also ensures that you can actually bill for the services you offer.
A good idea is to get your facility accredited by either the Joint Commission or CARF. That way, the insurance providers will cover your patients’ healthcare costs.
6. Hire the Right People
Who you hire will depend on the services offered at your outpatient rehab clinic. They may be counselors, therapists, medical staff, janitorial staff, case workers, and directors.
Whoever you hire, make sure there’s a rigorous vetting and interviewing process. You’ll want people who aren’t just experienced, but also compassionate.
Those with substance abuse issues will need caring people to look after them. A qualified professional can still alienate a patient if they don’t have a gentle and warm touch.
7. Have a Good Marketing Strategy
Marketing is essential to your center’s success. Without it, no one will come, even if you offer the top services in the nation.
You’ll need both online and offline strategies, which can be difficult to do on your own. Digital marketing is especially challenging since effective strategies are constantly changing.
It’s prudent to hire a competent marketing team, as you’ll start off strong. They’ll get your rehab clinic’s name out there through various channels, and soon enough, you’ll see the patients streaming in.
Open a Successful Outpatient Rehab Clinic
Opening an outpatient rehab clinic can be an excellent idea, especially if your local area is underserved. But before you jump into action, there are several things you need to consider.
Ensure that you secure capital, hire outstanding staff, and think about what services you want to offer and where your facility should be located. And more importantly, don’t neglect marketing, as it’s the key to connecting with people who need your help.
If you work hard at it, your patients will surely appreciate what your clinic has to give them. They’ll have a fighting chance to break addiction and find sobriety.
If you’d like to learn more about opening outpatient rehabs, then contact us today.